ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa has released a diagram on its website, showing how complicated the process for getting an abortion in New Zealand is for people trying to access the procedure.
The page shows a stark comparison between seeking an abortion in present-day New Zealand and seeking one in the USA in the 1980s.
“We chose to compare New Zealand’s process with the relatively straightforward process common across almost all of the states in the 1980s, rather than the situation in the US today. This is because years of politically driven assaults on reproductive rights in the states have made the process in places like Texas or Alabama look a lot more like New Zealand’s,” said ALRANZ National president Terry Bellamak.
“Other states, like Oregon and New York, use almost the same process now as was common in the 1980s.
“It’s a clear and compelling illustration of how difficult it really is to access abortion here, and of how dysfunctional our abortion laws are.
“Accessing abortion does not need to be this difficult.”
New Zealand’s complicated, time-consuming legal requirements leave abortion seekers vulnerable to various hassles, also discussed on the page.
“New Zealand’s abortion provision system is unusual in its complexity, and the stress and dysfunction fall much more heavily on those who and lack the money to overcome them, and on those who live far away from urban centres.”
Under New Zealand’s abortion laws, two certifying consultants must approve every abortion under a narrow set of grounds set out in the Crimes Act. Those grounds do not include rape, nor the most common reasons cited overseas: contraception failure and the inability to support a child.
New Zealand’s abortion regime is 40 years old. In February the Minister of Justice, Hon Andrew Little, asked the Law Commission to review New Zealand’s abortion laws, so as to treat abortion as a health matter.